(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Countess Andrée de Charny

Countess Andrée de Charny (ahn-DRAY deh shahr-NEE), the wife of Count Olivier de Charny. As a young girl, she was raped by a peasant who later becomes Dr. Gilbert; as a result, she bore a son, Sebastian. Fearful lest her early misfortune become known to her beloved husband, she maintains a distant marriage relationship that mystifies him. When her secret is finally revealed by Dr. Gilbert himself, husband and wife are happily united.

Dr. Gilbert

Dr. Gilbert (zheel-BEHR), Louis XVI’s physician and trusted friend. As a humble peasant, years before, he had attacked a young woman, later to become Countess Andrée de Charny. As Dr. Gilbert, he seeks to expiate his crime by deeds of charity.

Count Olivier de Charny

Count Olivier de Charny (oh-lee-VYAY), an aide to King Louis XVI and devoted to the cause of the monarchy. He is the husband of Countess Andrée de Charny.


Sebastian (seh-bas-TYAHN), the illegitimate son of the Countess Andrée de Charny and Dr. Gilbert.

Louis XVI

Louis XVI, king of France.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette (ahn-twah-NEHT), queen of France.

The Marquis de Favras

The Marquis de Favras (fah-VRAH), a trusted aide of Louis XVI.

Count Alessandro di Cagliostro

Count Alessandro di Cagliostro (ah-leh-SAN-droh dee kah-glee-OH-stroh), or Joseph Balsamo (zhoh-ZEHF bahl-sah-MOH), an Italian adventurer involved in the intrigues surrounding Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.


Gamain (gah-MAN), locksmith to Louis XVI.

Honoré Mirabeau

Honoré Mirabeau (oh-noh-RAY mee-rah-BOH), a French statesman with revolutionary sympathies with whom Dr. Gilbert advises Louis XVI to join forces.

The Marquis de Bouille

The Marquis de Bouille (boo-YEH), a French general involved in the abortive plan for the escape of Louis XVI.

M. de Malden

M. de Malden (mahl-DAHN) and

The Marquis de Choiseul

The Marquis de Choiseul (shwah-ZOHL), a trusted nobleman in the cause of Louis XVI.

Jean Drouet

Jean Drouet (zhahn droo-AY), a revolutionary patriot who informs the nationalist troops of the attempted escape of Louis XVI.